UFC 139 was not only a solid offering in the box office, it was one of the best overall MMA cards in recent memory headlined by a fight that is at the front of the running for greatest UFC fight of all time. In a five-round war that left both fighters unable to stand for several moments after the final bell, the victorious “Hendo” Dan Henderson (29-8) was carried from the Octagon on the arms of his corner men, much as “The Russian Bear” Oleg Taktarov (14-5-2) was after winning UFC 6, and “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (20-6) was bloodied, swollen, and barely able to speak in his post-fight interview he was so exhausted. “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (35-11-1) overcame a very rough first round to knock out three-time world kickboxing champion Cung Le (7-2) in the co-main. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber (26-5) put on a stunning performance in his domination of Brian Bowles (10-2), earning a rubber match against “The Dominator” Dominick Cruz (18-1). Welterweights “The Hitman” Martin Kampmann (18-5) and “The Horror” Rick Story (11-4) clashed in a mostly stand-up war to restore their place in the divisional rankings and “The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (14-7) ran the show against light heavyweight hopeful “Kingsbu” Kyle Kingsbury (12-3). While it is difficult to truly find fault with any fighter involved in such a stellar card, not everyone can come out a winner in the big picture.
Perhaps one of the greatest nights of MMA history was witnessed on Saturday, November 19. Among the historic events was Bellator 58 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, featuring the long awaited title defense of top-ranked Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-3) against relentless challenger Michael Chandler (9-0). With the title fight as the event’s main attraction there was more star power to support the 155lbs. title bout. Bellator Middleweight Champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (29-2) met UFC and Strikeforce veteran Trevor Prangley (23-8) in a non-title catchweight bout of 195lbs. Two of the top five in Women’s MMA went to war in a rematch that had been five years in the making as “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (12-4) and Lisa Ellis-Ward (14-6) faced off in the cage. Starting off the action was former Sengoku featherweight king Marlon Sandro (20-3) and WEC veteran Rafael Dias (15-5) in a 145lbs. match-up with the hopes of the winner earning his way into the next featherweight tournament.
The UFC followed up its monumental FOX debut with one of the best cards of the year, UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson. It was a one-sided affair when former The Ultimate Fighter alumni met in the card’s opener. It was a battle of attrition between two of the welterweight’s most demanding forces. The bantamweight division saw its next title contender break out of the pack in flying colors. The co-main event was a matter of “do-or-die” between the hometown hero and a legend still proving to show he is a threat to be taken seriously. The main event was an instant classic when PRIDE veterans met for the very first time and did not leave a single seat in San Jose’s HP Pavilion disappointed. Now that all has been said and done, here’s a recap of each of the main card’s bouts as well as potential fights that could be put together later on down the road for the victors.